Powdered Beets for Performance? Go Fresh!

“Beets are indicated for athletes because of their concentration of nitrates, which have been gaining more and more attention for their ability to improve athletic performance and reduce blood pressure“, read a recent article on a popular sports website.

And I see more friends and fellow athletes partaking of beets, beet juice and…beet powders now more than ever.

It used to  be that one might only see beets in their pickled form during the holidays, or subtly (or not so subtly) juiced into a blend of fresh greens.

I was usually the only odd man (or woman!) out who actually liked eating steamed beets, or raw, shredded on a salad for a long time.

So now, given their recent publicity, I suppose we shouldn’t be that surprised that beets are not only being served up in pre-made salads, in juices and in a dehydrated package in powdered form, easy to carry with you to the gym and stir into your favorite beverage.

Are products like these of any value to us?

Perhaps.

I’m sure there are some manufacturers out there who’re providing a clean, dehydrated beet product, just as much as there are others who are combining it with a laundry list of other foods (or non foods), adding sugar and calling it a health drink.

In either case, chances are that simply buying raw beets and eating them, as well as their lovely greens, will prove to be not only much healthier for us to eat, but far more cost effective.

One brand of beet powder on amazon sells for $7.99 for 2 ounces; I found fresh beets at the market for $1.49/pound.

Plus, beets are in season so now is the perfect time to partake!

As with many supplements, we have to weigh cost and effectiveness and with few exceptions, it’s nearly always better to simply eat food.

Real, fresh, whole food, that is.

If every color of the rainbow graces your plate over the course of a week (or a day!), you’re eating wild proteins and natural fats, and not eating processed, manufactured packaged items, it’s very likely you don’t need to partake of any pills that you choose off the shelf yourself.

Medications, obviously, might be another story, and one to approach with your naturopath or functional medicine doctor; but ultimately, let’s just focus on food!

Food is thy medicine, after all…